Bees play an important role in agriculture, pollinating crops and providing us with the natural sweetener, honey. Environmental stresses are taking their tolls on the insects, however, and this year’s Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement has gone to researcher May Berenbaum, who is studying solutions to the bee crisis.
May Berenbaum says that for thousands of years, people have had an adversarial relationship with bees, because they sting.
“But on the other hand, people all over the world have developed a dependency on the honeybee because it is really the world’s premier managed pollinator,” noted Berenbaum. “And here in the US, for example, over 90 crops depend on honeybees for pollination services.”